finds your ribbon …
… and wears it to …
Right before it’s time to go home, Mrs. Alexander starts to teach us a new song called Home on the Range. “Oh give me a home, where the antelope roam and the deer and the antelope play. Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day. How often at night, where the heavens are bright with the light of the Glittering stars, have I stood there amazed and asked as I gazed if their glory exceeds that of ours. Home, home on the range….”
I like those words. They make me feel almost as good as when I’m riding on ol’ Polo, free and easy like deer and antelope playing together without any bickering. I like that she tells us what the words mean, words like “discouraging.” She says that “discouraging” means that you don’t like something much, like something makes you feel uncomfortable, something that spoils your spirit. So now I can say, that “Home on the Range” is my new favorite song. I can also say that recess today sure was discouraging.
Excerpt from No Hill for a Stepper
How do you WANDER? Aimlessly or with purpose? Neither is the wrong answer. Aimlessly means you might be stuck. Everybody gets stuck. And, perhaps, being stuck, helps us wander. Sometimes we wander to discover something new. For me, I wandered on paths that led me to new interests like: tap dancing, hot yoga, pilates, volunteer work, Italian lessons, art lessons, writer’s conferences and workshops, boxing, studying diversity training for children, piano lessons, kickboxing, writing. And did I really just pull out my mom’s old sewing machine?
Don’t just wonder. Wander. It’s a beautiful word and the paths are numerous. So, as you wander, find the things you love. The scenery is stunning.
I was born in Adelaide south Australia in the 1980s, a time of big hair, big shoulder pads and big cartoons (He-Man, She-Ra). I grew up on a farm in Victoria, raised by ex-hippy parents, weaned on …
Source: “Be anything but predictable.”
I miss the language (I’ve forgotten most of what I’ve studied)
I miss the people who say what they mean and mean what they say.
I miss the culture, the arts, the music on the streets.
I miss the architecture and the oldness of things.
I miss the food with its all-fresh ingredients.
I miss the incredible chalk paintings on the streets of Firenze (Florence).
Wait for me, Italy. I’ll be back!
Mayor Hicks slammed a fist on the table. “This is a damn murder investigation. That woman had her throat slit. The whore sitting here is known to pull out a knife. Plus, she had possession of the deceased’s scarf. Sheriff or not, you can’t just take them out of here. Miss Dubois has a cell waiting with her name on it.”
Sadie shuddered. Van Riper sat motionless, the emotion behind his squinting eyes, unreadable. Anger? Curiosity?
John shot a dogged grin at Hicks. “What murderer would flaunt a scarf belonging to the person they’d killed? What murderer could slit a throat and have no blood on their clothes when they returned home? Now, step aside. We’re leaving.”
Hicks’s face flushed with rage. “So you can go back to your whore madam? Make a sandwich between the sheets? Talk about a conflict of interest!”
In a Blur of motion, John pinned Hicks to the wall, his hands around the mayor’s throat.
Excerpt from The Last Bordello
The child is made of one hundred.
The child has a hundred languages a hundred hands a hundred thoughts a hundred ways of thinking of playing, of speaking.
A hundred always a hundred ways of listening of marvelling of loving a hundred joys for singing and understanding a hundred worlds to discover a hundred worlds to invent a hundred worlds to dream.
The child has a hundred languages (and a hundred hundred more) but they steal ninety-nine.
The schools and the culture separate the head from the body.
They tell the child: to think without hands to do without head to listen and not to speak to understand without joy to love and to marvel only at Easter and Christmas.
They tell the child: to discover the world already there and of the hundred they steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child: that work and play reality and fantasy science and imagination sky and earth reason and dream are things that do not belong together.
And thus they tell the child that the hundred is not there.
The child says: No way. The hundred is there.
Obviously, Trump’s paper is jammed.
March, when Scooter turned fourteen, the handmade crown Miss Primrose gave Scooter never stayed on his head. I’m not so sure it was the crown’s fault.
“I agree, Scoot, ol’ Buddy,” Frank says. “We should wait until we’re real kings to wear crowns.”
“King Scooter Hutchings.” Scooter chuckles. “King Scooter Hutchings doesn’t walk on crutches.”
“Frank,” I say. “Are you teaching Scoot to rhyme?”
Frank shrugs and smiles.
“All the time,” Scooter squeals.
We laugh our way to the final steps of the schoolhouse. “Scooter, remember about tonight. We can’t tell Bernie about our plans. It’s a secret,” I tell him. “I want our plans to come to fruition.”
Scooter crinkles his nose.
“Work as planned,” Scooter says, pulling out his pocketknife.
Scooter is the smart crust around the Juicy apple pie that holds everything together.
Excerpt from The Moonshine Thicket
1934: We walk into the barber’s shop and Dad shakes hands with Mr. Kindle. The place looks pretty much the same as Grady’s in Ranger, but instead of a boxing poster, there’s a framed picture of President Roosevelt. Something else different too. There’s a colored man standing in the corner holding a rag. Dad walks up to him, shakes his hand and says, “How ya doin,’ H?”
“I’m jest fine, Mr. Wayne. How ‘bout yerself?” They shake hands.
“Any better ’n I’d be dead.”
“Well, that’s fine then, jus’ fine,” H. laughs.
“H., this is my boy, Cono.” H. bends down, looks me square in my eyes and says, “We’ll, it’s a real pleasure Little Dennis, a real pleasure.”
I like how he’s Squatting so he can see my eyes. Like we’re playing on the same team. I don’t have to look up to him and he doesn’t have to look down on me. I stare back into his eyes where I can see right into the middle of him. What I see is safe and comfortable. So I say, “I ain’t never met a real colored man before.” I hear Dad laugh.
“Yes, sir,” corrects Dad.
“Yes sir,” I say.
“Well, Little Dennis, I’ve never met a young man so strong and smart lookin’ as you.” Dad gets in the barber’s chair and H. pulls up a stool to start shining Dad’s old black shoes.
I like the way H. looks at me, like I’m worth a jar full of quarters.
Excerpt from No Hill for a Stepper